New Delhi, Aug 7 (IANS) Parliament on Tuesday approved the additional gross additional expenditure of Rs 11,697.92 crore for the current fiscal, including Rs 980 crore for equity infusion into the heavily indebted Air India with Finance Minister Piyush Goyal telling the Lok Sabha that the supplementary demands for grants was the lowest in 15 years.
The Lok Sabha passed the Supplementary Demands for Grants for 2018-19 and demands for excess grants for 2015-16 along with the appropriation bills by voice vote, even as opposition members staged a walkout saying the government had not replied to their concerns related to Rafale fighter jet deal.
“This government follows the kind of budget making where there is least deviation between the planned and actual estimates,” Goyal said responding to the debate on the supplementary demands for grants.
“This (supplementary demands) is the lowest in the last 15 years. It is just 0.2 per cent of the total budget compared to 14 per cent in 2008-09.”
He said the NDA government had brought down the fiscal deficit to 3.3 per cent from 4.4 per cent it had inherited as a “legacy” from the previous government.
The minister said that 400 schemes had been brought under the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme under which Rs 4 lakh crore have been disbursed directly to beneficiaries.
As per the latest demands for grants, the net cash outgo amounts to Rs 5,951,22 crore and the government’s gross additional expenditure have been shown at Rs 5,745.68 crore.
These are on account of expenditure of Rs 1,791.62 crore for the Agriculture Ministry, Rs 1,500 crore for the Textiles Ministry, Rs 1,057.84 crore for the Defence Ministry and Rs 1,708 crore for the Petroleum Ministry towards creation of capital assets under various schemes.
Under the “technical supplementary demands for grants” of the Civil Aviation Ministry, the government has sought Rs Rs 980 crore towards Turnaround Plan (TAP) for Air India burdened with accumulated debt of Rs 50,000 crore.
The grant has been sought as part of the equity infusion into the national carrier, whose proposed strategic divestment failed to take off earlier this year.
“Taking into account the surrender of savings available in the revenue section of the grant, the Expenditure (Rs 980 crore) will not entail any additional cash outgo,” the Supplementary Demand for Grants document said with reference to Air India.
The government has also requested a token provision of Rs 1.02 crore for enabling re-appropriation of savings in cases of new service or new instrument of service.